Bad News: An Experiment in Computationally Assisted Performance

  • Ben Samuel
  • James Ryan
  • Adam J. Summerville
  • Michael Mateas
  • Noah Wardrip-Fruin
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10045)

Abstract

Dreams of the prospect of computational narrative suggest a future of deeply interactive and personalized fictional experiences that engage our empathy. But the gulf between our current moment and that future is vast. How do we begin to bridge that divide now, both for learning more specifics of these potentials and to create experiences today that can have some of their impact on audiences? We present Bad News, a combination of theatrical performance practices, computational support, and Wizard-of-Oz interaction techniques. These allow for rich, real-time interaction with a procedurally generated world. We believe our approach could enable other research groups to explore similar territory—and the resulting experience is engaging and affecting in ways that help strengthen the case for our envisioned futures and also makes the case for trying to field such experiences today (e.g., in experimental theater or location-based entertainment contexts). Bad News is a realized game enjoyed by players with varying degrees of performance experience, and won the Innovative Game Design track of the 2016 ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI) Student Game Competition.

Keywords

Deep simulation Live performance Emergent narrative 

References

  1. 1.
    Bonsignore, E.M., Hansen, D.L., Toups, Z.O., Nacke, L.E., Salter, A., Lutters, W.: Mixed reality games. In: Proceedings of Computer Supported Cooperative Work (2012)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Costa, P.T., MacCrae, R.R.: Revised NEO personality inventory and NEO five-factor inventory: Professional manual (1992)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Squinkifer, D.: Coffee: A Misunderstanding. Deirdra Kiai, Santa Cruz (2014)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Dow, S.P., Mehta, M., MacIntyre, B., Mateas, M.: Eliza meets the wizard-of-oz: blending machine and human control of embodied characters. In: Proceedings of CHI (2010)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Glassner, A.: Interactive storytelling: people, stories, and games. In: Balet, O., Subsol, G., Torguet, P. (eds.) ICVS 2001. LNCS, vol. 2197, pp. 51–60. Springer, Heidelberg (2001). doi:10.1007/3-540-45420-9_7 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Hayes-Roth, B., Van Gent, R.: Story-marking with improvisational puppets. In: Proceedings of Autonomous Agents (1997)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Jagodowski, T., Pasquesi, D., Victor, P.: Improvisation at the Speed of Life. Sola Roma Books, Inc., Rome (2015)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Johnstone, K.: Impro: Improvisation and the Theatre. Routledge, New York (1987)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Kelso, M.T., Weyhrauch, P., Bates, J.: Dramatic presence. Presence: Teleoper. Virtual Environ. 2, 1–15 (1993)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Lucas, S.M., Mateas, M., Preuss, M., Spronck, P., Togelius, J.: Dagstuhl seminar 12191. Dagstuhl Rep. 5, 43–70 (2012)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Machon, J.: Immersive Theatres: Intimacy and Immediacy in Contemporary Performance. Palgrave macmillan, Basingstoke (2013)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Magerko, B., Riedl, M.: What happens next? toward an empirical investigation of improvisational theatre. In: Proceedings of Computational Creativity (2008)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Martens, C.: Towards computational support for experimental theater (2016)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Mateas, M., Stern, A.: Build it to understand it: ludology meets narratology in game design space. In: Proceedings of DiGRA (2005)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Mateas, M., Wardrip-Fruin, N.: Personalized and interactive literature. In: Bainbridge, W.S., Roco, M.C. (eds.) Handbook of Science and Technology Convergence, pp. 501–515. Springer, Heidelberg (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    McDonald, B., Armstrong, M.: Invisible Ink: A Practical Guide to Building Stories that Resonate. Libertary Company, New York (2013)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Meisner, S., Longwell, D.: Sanford Meisner on Acting. Vintage, New York (2012)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Murray, J.H.: Hamlet on the Holodeck: The Future of Narrative in Cyberspace. Free Press, New York (1997)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Pettersson, J.: States of play. Nordic larp around the world (2012)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Riedl, M.O., Bulitko, V.: Interactive narrative: an intelligent systems approach. AI Mag. 34(1), 67 (2012)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Ryan, J., Mateas, M., Wardrip-Fruin, N.: A simple method for evolving large character social networks. In: Proceedings of Social Believability in Games (2016)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Ryan, J.O., Mateas, M., Wardrip-Fruin, N.: Open design challenges for interactive emergent narrative. In: Schoenau-Fog, H., Bruni, L.E., Louchart, S., Baceviciute, S. (eds.) ICIDS 2015. LNCS, vol. 9445, pp. 14–26. Springer, Heidelberg (2015). doi:10.1007/978-3-319-27036-4_2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Ryan, J.O., Samuel, B., Summerville, A.J., Lessard, J.: Bad News: a computationally assisted live-action prototype to guide content creation. In: Proceedings of EXAG (2015)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Ryan, J.O., Summerville, A., Mateas, M., Wardrip-Fruin, N.: Toward characters who observe, tell, misremember, and lie. In: Proceedings of EXAG (2015)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Samuel, B., Ryan, J., Summerville, A., Mateas, M., Wardrip-Fruin, N.: Computatrum personae: toward a role-based taxonomy of (computationally assisted) performance. In: Proceedings of EXAG (2016)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Sellers, M., Lograsso, A., Reinhart, A.: Creating emergent narratives using motivated, social NPCs. In: Proceedings of Social Believability in Games (2016)Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Stanislavsky, K.: An Actor Prepares. Taylor & Francis, London (1989)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ben Samuel
    • 1
  • James Ryan
    • 1
  • Adam J. Summerville
    • 1
  • Michael Mateas
    • 1
  • Noah Wardrip-Fruin
    • 1
  1. 1.Expressive Intelligence StudioUniversity of CaliforniaSanta CruzUSA

Personalised recommendations